A cookie swap is when a group of people all bake batches of cookies then get together and share both the cookies and the recipes. One Sweet Cookie is a kind of cookbook version of a cookie swap, featuring recipes from dozens of cookie recipes from well known chefs, pastry chefs and bakers. Most of the chefs are based, or were based, in and around the New York Area, where they shared signature cookie recipes and personal, family favorites with Tracey Zabar, who translated the recipes for home cooks and compiled them all in this volume.
The book has a brief introduction to the essential ingredients that you will need to start baking, but it gets straight into the recipes within a few pages. The chapters include: Brownies, Bars and Cakey Cookies; Nuts, Chips and Oatmeal Cookies; Pastry, Petit Fours and Chocolate Cookies; Meringues, Macarons and Macaroons; Biscotti, Spice Cookies and Seed Cookies; and Sugar Cookies, Shortbread and Donuts. The cookies are mostly arranged by type, but you’ll notice even from the chapter titles that there are a few recipes that aren’t quite cookies that snuck in – although they still make delicious desserts. The recipes all include a note about the chef who provided the recipe and what makes it so delicious, while the recipes themselves are easy to follow along with to recreate them. You may notice, however, that most of the recipes call for half sheet pans instead of just a “baking pan” or “cookie sheet,” and you might want to double check that you have the correct pan sizes for some of the bar cookies before starting your baking, though the drop cookies and shaped cookies won’t give you any problems.
The photos of the cookies are beautiful. Not only do the cookies look delicious, but they are presented in a way that makes them look like delicacies worthy of a special occasion – a nice reminder that cookies are just as worthy as being an “occasion” dessert as a cake can be, even though you definitely don’t need anything more than a craving for a cookie before starting to bake. The book has a tremendous variety of flavors in it, but I actually like the fact that there are different versions of a few of the recipes, such as Snickerdoodles, that come from different chefs with slight variations, too.